Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

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For editing task, 3D View has some features to help you in your work. These commands are easily executable from the Object/Mesh operators panel (T Key with mouse cursor over 3D View Editor). Here you have some different options depending if you are in Object Mode or Edit Mode.

You can work according to different Modes in Blender (Object Mode, Edit Mode, Sculpt Mode, Pose Mode, etc) and accordingly you will be able to deal with different properties and operators. For modeling, you will use Edit Mode and Object Mode. (See illustration 1)

Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

Illustration 1: The Mode Menu
Changing Mode in Blender modifies your workflow and offers you different options/properties according to the chosen mode.

Differences between Object and Edit Mode

To understand the differences between Object and Edit Mode easily, I’ll make a comparison. In Blender, an Object is the physical representation of anything, and Mesh is the material that it is made up of. If you have got a plasticine puppet over the table, and if you see it, move it, and bring it to trash, then your puppet is in Object Mode. If you want to modify it by stretching its legs, adding more plasticine or something similar, then you need to manipulate it. This action is done over the Mesh in Edit Mode in Blender. It is important that you get this idea to understand at every moment the Mode you are working on.

Then, you are in 3D View Editor and Object Mode (by default). If you got the default user scene with a cube, just select the cube (selected by default) with RMB (Right Mouse Button) and delete it with X Key.

The purpose of this article is not to create the whole model, but to introduce to you the operators used for creating it. I will begin by telling you how to start a single model.

Practical Exercise:

Go to the Top view in 3D View Editor by pressing 7 Key in the Numpad. Take care you are not in the Persp view. You could check in the top left corner of the editor. If you are in the “Top Persp” then press 5 Key in the Numpad to go to “Top Ortho”. If you were there from the start, just avoid this step.

We’ll add our first plane to the scene. This plane will become our main character at the end. To add this plane just press Shift+A or click on the Add Plane| in the top menu in the Info Editor. (See illustration 2 and 3)

Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

Illustration 2: Add Menu. Floating
The Add Object Menu is accessible within 3D View Editor at any moment by pressing Shift+A, resulting in a floating menu.

Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

Illustration 3: Add Menu
The Add Object Menu is also accessible from the Add option within the Info Editor (at the top by default).

Once we select Plane from that menu, we have a plane in our scene, 3D View Editor and Top View. This plane is currently in Object Mode. You can check this in the Mode Menu we have seen before. Now go to Right View by pressing 3 Key in the Numpad, then press R Key to rotate the plane and enter -90. Press Enter after that. Then go to the Front View by pressing 1 Key in the Numpad.

We are now going to apply some very interesting Modifiers to the plane to help us in the modeling stage. We have our first plane in vertical position in Front View and in Object Mode. Press Tab Key to enter the Edit Mode and W Key to Subdivide the plane. A floating menu appears after pressing W Key. This is the Specials Menu with very interesting options there. At the moment Subdivide is the one we are interested in. (See illustration 4)

Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

Illustration 4: Specials Menu
Specials Menu helps you in the Editing stage with interesting operators like Subdivide, Merge, Remove Doubles, etc. We will use some of these operators in future steps, so keep an eye on this panel.

Well, back to the model. We have our plane in 3D View Editor, Edit Mode and Subdivide was recently applied. Notice that you will have a plane subdivided into four little planes by default. The amount of subdivision can be modified in the Subdivide panel below Mesh operators (If collapsed, T Key with mouse cursor over 3D View Editor) as we have seen previously. You now have a Subdivide Number of Cuts. To keep the target, we will go with the default one. So then we have a plane subdivided in little ones (four). By default all vertices are selected, to deselect all vertices, press A Key. Now our plane has no vertex selected.

Next step is to set up a Mirror Modifier to help us model just the left mid (right mid for us because we are looking at our model in Front View). With all vertices deselected, press B Key to activate Border Select and make a square selecting left side of the plane with LMB (Left Mouse Button). (See illustration 5)

Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

Illustration 5: Border Select
To select or deselect vertex, edges or faces in Edit Mode you could use Border Select (B Key) or Circle Select (C Key). First you need to make a square to select. Second is a circle that can be selected by clicking and dragging like in painting editors. Diameter of Circle Select could be adjusted with MMB (Middle Mouse Button).

With left side of the plane selected, press X Key to delete those vertices. The Delete Menu will then offer to you different options to delete, in our case just vertex option. We now have only the right side of the panel, to which we will apply the Mirror Modifier. For that we must know at this point where to find them. To manage different operators or actions in our objects or meshes, we have the Buttons that will open the right Property Editor, according to our needs. (See illustration 6)

Introduction to the Editing Operators in Blender

Illustration 6: Buttons Selector
Buttons open the right Property Editor.

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